Archive for February, 2009

11 Influential D.C. Twitterers

by Team Politics
Friday, February 27th, 2009

Politico has a list of The 10 most influential D.C. Twitterers. Definitely a good list, but I submit one more.

Incidentally, you’ve been scooped, Politico!


by Team Politics
Friday, February 27th, 2009

We’ve already examined the phenomenon of tweeting during a presentation at a tech convention. But now, our Congressional Twitterers are engaging in their crack-addict-like microblogging habit during Obama’s speech. That’s from inside the House chamber, folks.

One other fun thing from that CNN article:

Rep. John Culberson of Texas, a prolific twitterer and one of the first members of Congress to embrace the technology, not only tweeted from the chamber (”TV lights are so bright I could get a suntan”) but also sent live video updates to the site as he hustled his way to the Capitol.

What a nerd.

Hotel branding context collapse: Because when I think frugal, I think Hyatt.

by Team Politics
Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hotels tried to have it both ways yesterday in an ad on the front page of titled “Letter to Congress.”

These hoteliers have branded themselves the gold standard of luxury, but they say if Congress’ “rhetoric is not toned down,” folks are going to think that executives staying at 4 and 5 star hotels are spending excessively.

As the executives of some of the nation’s largest hotel companies, we understand the economic pressures that have caused many companies to reduce business travel as part of broader cost-cutting measures.

However, we are concerned that legitimate meetings, business events and recognition travel are now being portrayed as perks and symbols of excess.  Consequently, many large groups—including those not receiving government assistance – are canceling business meetings and events because they fear being criticized.  Make no mistake, these decisions have serious economic consequences.

This is a time when we should be looking to create and support jobs, not destroy them.  A robust travel industry is a powerful economic stimulus.

Remember, criticizing irresponsible spending will ruin the economy!  So, shut up Congress, unless you laud our responsible travel spending guidelines. Respectfully, the five-star hotels.  Enjoy the (almost) complete screenshot:
hotel letter on politico

Smart people smackdown!

by Team Politics
Monday, February 23rd, 2009

In his book What Would Google Do?, Jeff Jarvis argues for the obsolescence of lawyers and PR people:

The problem for public relations people and lawyers is that they have clients. They must represent a position, right or wrong. As they are paid to do that, the motives behind anything they say are necessarily suspect. They cannot be transparent, for that might hurt their clients. They cannot be consistent, for they may represent a client with one stance today and the opposite tomorrow, and we’ll never know what they truly think. In a medium that treasures facts and data, they cannot always let facts win; they must spin facts to craft victory. They must negotiate to the death, which makes them bad at collaboration. It’s not their job to help anybody but their clients. They are middlemen. They won’t admit to making mistakes well; clients don’t pay for mistakes.

Noted PR person Richard Edelman has posted a riposte over at his blog.

No client is worth the risk of long term damage to the reputation of the PR practitioner or its firm. We recognize that relationships with reporters, with the public and other stakeholders are a true asset, imperiled by obfuscation or prevarication.

Jarvis’s response.

Blogs gave me the cancer

by Team Politics
Saturday, February 21st, 2009

I’m blogging this with my lead vest & tinfoil hat on. “Social networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace may increase the risk of health problems as serious as cancer, strokes and dementia by altering the way genes work.”  Apparently Britons have seen a rapid decrease of time spent face-to-face with others since 1987.  The emergence of social networking online is clearly the only thing that has changed in the last 20 years. </sarcasm>

Bloomberg via Metalifter

I have done this

by Team Politics
Saturday, February 21st, 2009

At, Jeff Bercovici writes about getting stuck in the Web 2.0 mobius strip at a recent tech conference:

Surreal moment: At one point, the guy sitting closest to me was reading a blog post containing a photo of the guy sitting immediately behind him.

I have definitely been to tech conferences and spent more time using Twitter than actually engaging with the speakers. That’s usually the best way to find out who’s there in the first place. Via Gawker/Valleywag

Kraft Gets Political

by Team Politics
Friday, February 20th, 2009

On Politico this week, we see a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ad that gets weirdly political:

Kraft gets political

The banner clicks through to this URL, where you can get a coupon for some mac and cheese!

I can’t wait to see other advertisers jump on this bandwagon. I want a “Fun stimulus package” from Carowinds, and an “Inebriation Stimulus Package” from Diageo.

Congress and Twitter

by Team Politics
Friday, February 20th, 2009

It’s no secret that the Team politics is into The Twitter. We use it to post personal minutiae, keep in touch with tech savvy clients, and generally annoy each other.

I personally like following celebrities: @WarrenEllis, @lilyroseallen, and of course @THE_REAL_SHAQ (very quotatious).

If you’re into following famous-for-DC celebrities, there’s a list of Senate and Congressional twitterers on Congressopedia. I’ve gone through the list and pulled the fun ones (i.e., Twitter accounts that seem like they’re written by the actual Congresstweet and not staff, that are current, and that have some substantive or amusement value.)


John Cornyn (R, TX): Tweets every few days, seems to be into media, and a good communicator.
Sample Tweet: “Check out a video regarding my thoughts on new media and its strong relationship with the NRSC at”

Robert Menendez (D, NJ): Seems to use Twitter primarily for constituent communication.
Sample Tweet: “The economic recovery package, passed last night, will create or save 100,000 New Jersey jobs.”

Claire McCaskill (D, MO): The most personal of the Senate tweeps I checked out, her legislative-focused tweets are unecquivocal (”More audits, good thing.”). But it’s the tweets about her personal life that make her fun to follow.
Sample Tweet: “Happy hearts day. Sneaking away for 2 days with my husband.He’s a great guy and a patient man.”

Chuck Grassley (R, IA): Seems to be really into Twitter, uses it to explain his positions in 140 characters or less. Texts all of his tweets, leading to some interesting abbreviation and typos. He’s also very funny.
Sample Tweet: “CSPAN 530pmEST. FIANAL vote stimulous)porkulus bill I vote NAY. Pres signs 800B$ bill Mon primetime TV”

House of Representatives

Earl Blumenauer (D, OR): Passionate tweets, seems to be really into his job.
Sample Tweet: “Instead of giving subsidies to sugar we should be focusing our resources on feeding our hungry children”

Michael Burgess (R, TX): Another passionate Congressional twitterer, uses Twitter to communicate with/massage constituents (”I truly live in/represent one of the best places on earth.”).
Sample Tweet: “Pelosi urges a yes vote on the stimulus bill. What do you think?”

John Culberson (R, TX): Enthusiastic new media evangelist and old-school conservative. Lots of replies in his stream.
Sample Tweet: “Good night all! Have hope - America’s ingenuity & strength will never be outdone - especially now that We the People have new media tools!”

John Carter (R, TX): Saucy! Uses his stream to stand in opposition to the Democratic leadership.
Sample Tweet: “They released a 1494 page stimulus bill at 11:45pm last night, and brought it to the floor at 9am. Now they want to vote before we can read ”

Ben Lujan (D, NM): Excellent mix of personal and policy-focused tweets. Apparently has a farm?
Sample Tweet: “What a beautiful morning, I fed and watered the sheep, we have 8 baby lambs. I’ll be speaking to the members of the NM legislature today.”

This is by no means a comprehensive list. But it’s a good sample of fun folks to follow on Twitter. If there’s anyone I’ve left off, let me know.


by Team Politics
Friday, February 20th, 2009

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